A former Nobel Peace Prize nominee warns that Senate confirmation of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense would send a message to Iran of weakened U.S. resolve, making it less likely America’s military might would in any way deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“Going back to 2001, Hagel has been opposed to U.S. sanctions on Iran and in favor of recognizing the Islamic Republic in order to normalize trade relationships,” journalist and activist Ken Timmerman told WND. “Hagel has virtually made his position on Iran identical to the policies of the Iranian government, including a demand the U.S. enter direct negotiations with Iran ‘without preconditions’ and opposing the United States’ use of military force to block Iran’s nuclear weapons development program.”
Timmerman began in the Foundation for Democracy in Iran in 1995 as part of his ongoing support for freedom in the Islamic country and in 2006 was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Sweden’s former Deputy Prime Minister Per Ahlmark for playing a major role in exposing Iran’s plans to develop nuclear weapons.
“If Hagel is confirmed as secretary of defense,” Timmerman argued, “we will have someone in charge of the U.S. military who has promoted the agenda of the Islamic Republic of Iran, an enemy of the United States since 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to begin the Iranian revolution.”
Hagel has been a long-term supporter of the founder and president of the pro-Tehran lobbying group American-Iranian-Council, Housang Amirahmadi, who was disqualified by the Iranian Guardian Council from running for president of Iran in June 2005 and is currently running for president of Iran once again this year, despite being an American citizen.
Hagel was keynote speaker at an American-Iranian Council event on Capital Hill event in 2001, which Timmerman insists was used by AIC as a fund-raiser.
In the photo below, Amirahmadi is the second individual in the photograph seen at the podium with Hagel at the event.
Amirahmadi has established a website, Amirahmadi.com, on which he is raising money that Timmerman insists will be used in his current effort to run as a candidate for president of Iran, in apparent violation of U.S. sanctions against the country.
The website page makes no mention of the purpose to which the funds donated will be applied. The website, however, suggests Amirahmadi is running for president of Iran, soliciting volunteers as well as financial contributions, under the campaign-like slogan “For Real Change in Iran.”
The Iranian state-controlled media has welcomed Hagel’s nomination saying, “Hagel’s selection is a message of peace from the Obama administration to Islamic Republic of Iran,” and noting, “The new U.S. secretary of defense staunchly opposes military action against Iran.”
On July 24, 2001, Hagel and former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., were the only two votes to oppose the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, a measure that passed by a Senate vote of 96-2.
In April 2006, in a speech given in Islamabad, Pakistan, Hegel said, “I would say that a military strike against Iran, a military option, is not a viable, feasible, responsible option. … I believe a political settlement will be the answer. Not a military settlement. All these issues will require a political settlement.”
WND’s Aaron Klein has reported that Hagel serves on the board of the Ploughshares Fund, a George Soros-funded group that advocates a nuclear-free world and “is a partner of the Marxist-oriented Institute for Public Policies, which has urged the defunding of the Pentagon and massive decreases in U.S. defense capabilities, including slashing the American nuclear arsenal to 292 deployed weapons.”
In 2012, Timmerman ran as a Republican Party nominee for the House of Representatives in the newly redrawn Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, losing to Democratic Party incumbent, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who has served as a Maryland congressman since 2003.